Emma Boschini, an activist for the Italian association Mediterranea, was part of the first cohort of ECDA fellows in the fall of 2023. Mediterranea is a civil society platform that links together organizations, individuals, and platforms to protect the lives and rights of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. By joining the ECDA Fellowship, Emma implemented the digital organizing strategies from the program, leading activities that saw significant impact even in a short amount of time.
Below is an interview with Emma in which she shares a few of these significant milestones both for the organization and herself.
What motivated you to join the ECDA Fellowship Program?
I've always been passionate about enhancing our communication and fundraising strategies at Mediterranea. The ECDA Fellowship seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn from both experts and other NGOs and CSOs. It was about understanding broader strategies and applying those insights to our mission.
How much did you know about digital organizing before the fellowship?
Honestly, my knowledge was quite basic. The fellowship opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of communications, fundraising, and digital organizing. It’s been transformative, pushing both my professional growth and our organizational strategies forward.
Can you recall a moment during the fellowship that was particularly transformative for you?
Absolutely. Launching and leading successful ad campaigns was a game-changer. It wasn’t just about fundraising but expanding our reach and engaging with communities beyond our usual scope. That success has reshaped our approach to digital outreach.
Success Story 1: The Christmas e-shop campaign
Tell us about the Christmas e-shop campaign and its outcomes.
Our e-shop was operational but not living up to its potential. The main issue was visibility and engagement. The Christmas campaign was our opportunity to apply fresh strategies, focusing on targeted advertisements and a more compelling narrative for our products.
Using targeted ads and revamped marketing strategies, we saw a 20% increase in revenue. It was a clear indication that with the right tools and strategies, we could significantly enhance our impact.
Success story 2: Fundraising campaign for the 10k euros fine
How did Mediterranea respond to the challenge of the 10.000€ fine?
After our last mission, our ship got blocked, and we were fined 10.000 euros. It was a big challenge for us. We decided to start a fundraising campaign quickly, a project that was spearheaded by the Mediterranea fundraising team. We didn't use paid ads. Instead, we used a few social media posts and some emails. The way people responded was amazing. They didn’t just give money; they helped spread the word, making our message reach far. It was all about the timing and how we communicated our situation. We made a strong political point about being fined for doing our work at sea. This really connected with people. We managed to reach our monetary goal in just a few days, and in the end, we raised almost twice what we needed. This showed us how much support we have from our community. It was a perfect example of a rapid response campaign: knowing how to respond quickly to a problem, using the right words and at the right moment.
What future actions or projects is Mediterranea planning with these new skills and strategies?
We started thinking differently about campaigns, seeing them as something we all need to work on together, not just separate teams doing their parts. We have many ideas we want to try, and we feel more confident about our digital organizing skills.
How has the supportive community within the ECDA Fellowship contributed to your experience?
Being part of the fellowship was really great. Talking and learning from others who are doing similar work but in different ways was so helpful. It made me want to try new things and see what we could do differently at Mediterranea.
What advice do you have for future fellows of the ECDA program?
Don't be afraid to try and fail. Some ideas might seem strange at first, but the fellowship is a good place to test things out. What you learn can really help your organization.
If you could describe your ECDA Fellowship experience in a few words, what would it be?
It was really eye-opening. It showed me new ways to look at the work we do. I learned a lot about digital organizing and how strategic, united efforts can make a big difference.
Emma Boschini's experience during the ECDA Fellowship in 2023 was a game-changer for her and Mediterranea, the NGO she’s part of, fighting for lives in the Mediterranean. This experience wasn’t just a learning curve but a launchpad for real action. Emma was able to apply the new digital know-how from ECDA immediately, impacting two campaigns for Mediterranea in the first few months of the fellowship. Her journey is a shout-out to the power of digging into digital skills and applying them for a bigger impact, showing just how much you can shake things up with the right amount of tools and the mindset to make things happen.
Support Mediterranea by visiting their webpage.
Would you like to read more about the ECDA fellows? Check out two other articles:
Digital organizing as a powerful tool for media by ECDA fellow Carla Allenbach, Managing Director and Co-Founder of The European Correspondent.
My time as an ECDA Fellow for “Sievietei paveicās”- The Lucky Woman by ECDA fellow Marta Kraujina.
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